Build the Northern Wall!

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary

by Daniel Nardini

No, I do not mean that! I no more want to see the U.S. government build a wall between the United States and Canada anymore than I want to see a wall built between the United States and Mexico. But most Americans (at least those who voted for current President Donald Trump) have a stereotyped image of all or most “illegals” being Mexican. Trump himself has called Mexicans “rapists” and “criminals” and it seems that the news these days are full of people who originally came from Mexico (and parts of Central America) being rounded up and sent back to their countries of origin. But we hear nothing about those who come on a legal visa from, say for example, Canada and Germany, and then never leave. In fact, according to data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (which runs immigration), more Canadians and Germans overstay their visas than do Mexicans or people from Central America combined!

But it seems that in the U.S. news media some people are more visible than others. I have yet to see long, or even short articles, about Canadians and Germans being rounded up and sent back to their countries of origin for being in the United States illegally. But then, these people ARE white Europeans so I guess they do not count?! Plus, they can also blend in?! If, by some chance and some really stroke of bad luck, the United States does build the wall between the United States and Mexico, it will not stop nor decrease the illegal immigration coming from elsewhere. Indeed, it will not solve the problem of illegal immigration, which has been with the United States long before Donald Trump came to office, and long before right wing nut groups ever made it an issue. Some will say that it will slow the problem down. The answer is no. Because as I speak now, our immigration is switching from Latin America to Asia—more immigrants, both legal and undocumented—are coming from Asia than Latin America or Europe combined. That would mean we would have to build a border on both side of the continental United States.

One thing I have learned is that American immigration law is vague, open to interpretation, and anyone who can hire a good immigration lawyer might have a good chance of getting through the whole legal system (maybe). For more people from Mexico, Central America and various parts of Asia, hiring a good lawyer, or an immigration lawyer at all, is about as likely as me winning the Illinois lottery……………simply don’t count on it. An immigration lawyer does not do their services for cheap (and for the most part not pro bono either). They will take cases for a good deal of money, and if they stand a good chance of winning (after all, lawyers want to point to cases they have won so that they can get a steady stream of clientele). So this leaves a lot of people out, and a lot of people as targets. This is a dangerous state of affairs as there are many people who have lived in this country for years and have started families and even businesses throughout this great land of ours. One tiny example is Andres Magana Ortiz, who is not only a coffee grower in Hawaii, but who also helps 20 other coffee growers in that state. Because of him, 20 coffee growers are making millions of dollars through his entrepreneurial skills. He has been slated for deportation regardless of the fact that he is married to an American and that even state representatives have petitioned for him to stay. His deportation would mean the loss of millions of dollars for so many people as well as his family to say nothing about the State of Hawaii. In my view, we should be opening more doors for those who are in this country to stay here legally regardless of their country of origin, and NOT building walls.

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